Grapefruited Pisco

27 Comments

I’ve always been intrigued by the well-known South American drink known as the Pisco Sour. In fact, I’m wondering what took me so long to finally try it.

With spring well on the way, I decided it was time. So I went to my favorite booze monger and asked for a bottle. What he sold me is called Capel, which is from Chile. Chilean piscos are supposedly sweeter than Peruvian piscos. So adjustments must be made in the recipes.

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If I’d actually read about what Pisco is, I probably wouldn’t have bothered trying it. Or, at least, I would have asked my blogger friend Sally from Bewitching Kitchen about Pisco, since she’s from South America. But I wasn’t smart enough to do that. I’m very impulsive, really.

If I’d googled Pisco, I would have learned that it’s distilled from wine made from specific grapes, originally those inferior in quality. It then becomes a very strong brandy. Grappa is a common substitute for Pisco. Have you ever tried grappa? I felt obliged once to try it after it was given to us at an Italian restaurant, and I thought my head would explode. And that was from one sip.

So being obliged to also try Pisco by itself, just to check out the flavor so I can share the information, I tried one sip. It was probably half a teaspoon. I could have lit my whole head on fire. Well, next time I’ll do a little research first. But I was still determined to try a pisco sour, my version with the addition of fresh grapefruit juice. It sounded good in theory.

If you check on Bar None Drinks, you can find two different versions of a pisco sour. One is pisco along with lime juice and sugar, which is very similar to a margarita. The other is the same thing but with egg white included, and sometimes with a dash of bitters. I liked the egg white idea, so I came up with the following recipe.

Keep in mind that I’ve admitted before that as much as I like cocktails, I don’t like them strong, and I’m a terrible bartender. My husband enjoys my mixology experiments, because he gets to drink all of my mistakes.

Also keep in mind that some of the photos show a very pink drink, and others a more yellow version. That’s because my first round was terribly bitter to me (not my husband) and so I added Grenadine to the second batch. I preferred the sweeter, pinker version. Here it is.

Grapefruited Pisco Sour
Makes 2 drinks

2 small grapefruits
4 ounces Capel Pisco, chilled
2 ounces sweetened lime juice*
1 ounce Grenadine, Amarena cherry juice, or juice from the pictured Maraschino cherry jar
1 egg white

Juice the two grapefruits.
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Measure 6 ounces and place the juice in a blender jar. Add the the remaining ingredients.
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Blend until smooth and foamy.
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Pour into two glasses and serve.

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The above photo shows how pink the drink is with the added grenadine.

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The above drinks are without the grenadine.

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I served the drinks with skewered Luxardo cherries, Italian maraschino cherries that are like candy they’re so good.
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I was surprised at how fast the liquid and foam separated. The drink is definitely prettier blended.
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* I used sweetened lime juice in place of lime juice and simple syrup

verdict: I have mixed feelings about this drink. Although it was legally spring on the day I made these, it was cold. Perhaps if the weather had been warmer they would have been more refreshing and appreciated by myself. I actually just finished skyping with my London daughter minutes ago, and she’s had pisco sours (of course) and she never thought they were strong at all. And she’s more of a wine drinker like myself. So I might keep experimenting. If you like drinking rubbing alcohol, this stuff is for you!

27 thoughts on “Grapefruited Pisco

  1. HA! Would you believe that pisco sour was a favorite drink of my first husband? He was very fond of pisco and also used to make “Cafe’ Inca” – a beverage with hot coffee and pisco plus a few spices, I think. I don’t remember exactly, but it was very good on a cold evening

    I used to like it, but I think the last time I had any type of Pisco drink was over 25 years ago

    It has a very unique flavor, and I suppose it might be an acquired taste for most people, first encounter never the best

    I confess I am more of a “caipirinha girl” – that to me is perfect, on a Summer day

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  2. This is lovely… and you have me inspired/intrigued to give it a try! I had a boss who drinks Grappa like it’s water… and I have to say that I tried it a couple of times after a business meal. When I say tried… I mean sip. And like you… I thought my head would explode…in fact, I think that the second time it really did! I told him that he might as well head over to the gas station and fill up a gas tank and drink that…because gas is truly the equivalent..

    I have to go out shopping for Easter this morning, so I’m thinking that I might head to the liquor store for Pisco… or… maybe being the chicken that I am… substitute it for vodka or something!! :-)
    Great post..

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  3. This is beautiful, Mimi. I’m glad that you do these mixology experiments. I let the bartenders do it for me. I’ve had Piscos in Chile and in Peru. I like the Peruvian pisco sour better, but I find them all to be just a little too sweet. However, I go with my girlfriends to get them here in in NYC to commemorate our trip to the Andes :) Great post. It’s cool to know what’s actually in a pisco.

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  4. I tried my first pisco sour a couple of weeks ago so was very intrigued by your post. Friends had just brought a bottle home from a South American trip and introduced me to the drink – which reminded me a little of a margerita. Now I’m so curious about tasting the liquor by itself. Such an interesting post – thank you!

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  5. We had our B&B owner in Santiago maker pisco sour for us, it was refreshing… But I still prefer other cocktails… like a Pimms cup. Well done for trying this at home! Yours looks every bit as elegant. And…. I guess you now have a whole bottle to experiment with? ;-)

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  6. I think they look beautiful. I think its refreshing when people post things that don’t necessarily turn out exactly as imagined. (I am probably like your husband…I would have downed them regardless…) :)

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